Sunday, January 20, 2008

A woman's place

Man experiences the essence of his masculinity in the act of romantic dominance; woman experiences the essence of her femininity in the act of romantic surrender.

-Ayn Rand
I generally dislike Ayn Rand's philosophies. Though the libertarian/objectivist idea, of, essentially "an ye harm none, do what ye will," is great when applied to personal lives, on a large scale - that of companies and governments - it just can't be done. That, and she called homosexuality "immoral, and more than that; if you want my really sincere opinion, it's disgusting." And she said the gay and feminist activists were demanding "special privileges," which is the biggest load of horse shit ever.

And then I read that quote.

Half of me sneers with disgust, saying, "Ugh, more Ayn Rand sexist/homophobic crap. Bleh."

Half of me blinks, bemused, and says, "Wait a minute... she's talking about me."

Do I not express my sexuality and femininity through submission to Master? Do I not feel more complete than ever before in my life when Master dominates me? How can I criticize Rand when I am doing precisely what she dictates?

I suppose my only defense is just that - she dictates that Man must dominate woman, that it is The Way Things Should Be. Though Master and I may follow that path, we do not believe it is The Way Things Should Be for everyone. There are lots of people who prefer egalitarian relationships - and let's not forget all the lovely Dommes out there!

Yes, I do submit to Master. But he is a specific man - I do not submit to all men because no other man has a right to dominate me. No other man has my permission to dominate me. And I know that sounds Dommish of me, but it's true. The only way a D/s relationship can work is if we want it. He can't force me to submit, because I could just leave; I can't force my submission upon him, because he can refuse to dominate (and leave).

So we both have the choice of D/s, and that's the crucial distinction between me and Ayn Rand's words. For her, feminine submission was a fact, a rule. For me, it is one possibility out of many that I have selected as the one I wish to pursue.

And that's female empowerment - the power of choice.

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